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Mister Ed - The Complete Second Season


TITLE: MISTER ED - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: February 2, 2010 (Shout! Factory)
B&W/1961-1962
MSRP: $44.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: approx. 13 hours
Runtime of Special Features: approx. 110 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-captioned
Special Features: Alan Young and Connie Hines from Stu’s Show on Shokus Internet Radio; Vintage Studebaker Commercials


Introduction:

A horse is a horse, of course, and the most famous (well, only) talking horse is of course the famous Mister Ed! Following up from the first season release of Mister Ed from October, The Complete Second Season of Mister Ed brings the next 26 episodes of the famous series about a horse named Ed (voiced by Allan Lane) who talks to his owner, Wilbur Post (Alan Young). A talking horse may sound like a great idea, but in reality, all Ed ever does is cause trouble for Wilbur and his wife, Carol (Connie Hines).

The series began in 1961 without a network, airing in first-run syndication initially, but by the second season, which began in October 1961, Ed finally made it to the big time--he made it to network television courtesy of CBS. The show didn’t change much, though, if at all, as it still had the same premise and same characters. A horse is, of course, just a horse. Except this one can talk.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The season begins with a very special episode about adoption, well not quite that special, where Ed convinces Wilbur to adopt a son for him in “My Son, My Son.” Ed wants to go to outer space in “The Horsestronaut.” Alan Hale, Jr. and Donna Douglas guest star in “Ed the Jumper,” where Ed is used for the amusement of others in a steeplechase. Ed’s barn is going to be used as a polling place in “Ed the Voter,” but will Ed want to veto that decision? Ed gets back into the music business when he writes another song in “Mister Ed’s Blues.”

Can Ed make the sale? He thinks so in “Ed the Salesman.” Ed might just have to be roommates with an elephant for a little while in “Ed and the Elephant.” Carol becomes jealous when Wilbur tends to an ill Ed in “Ed’s Bed.” Raymond Bailey guest stars in “Ed the Beneficiary,” where Ed wants to be assured that he is part of Wilbur’s will. Zsa Zsa Gabor moves in to the neighborhood in “Zsa Zsa.”

George Burns guest stars in “George Burns Meets Mister Ed,” where Ed could possibly net Wilbur $25,000. What does a horse do when he doesn’t get his way? Join the circus, as Ed does in “Ed’s Word of Honor.” Ed is afraid of becoming a bald horse when Roger plays a practical joke in “Bald Horse.” A lie detector machine causes trouble in the stable in “The Lie Detector.” Jealousy ensues between Ed and Clint Eastwood’s horse when Clint moves in to the neighborhood in “Clint Eastwood Meets Mister Ed.”


Packaging:

There is nothing really special about the packaging, with the cover art having a picture of Wilbur and Ed in front of the barn (in color) and the back of the box having a few black and white snapshots from the episodes. Inside, there are two slim cases, each containing two discs. Each case has a different snapshot of Wilbur and Ed. On the back of each slim case, there is a listing of episodes along with original airdates. Additionally, there is an episode booklet included in the set that includes a brief synopsis of each episode contained on the set. The inside of each slim case is designed to look like a barn, with the series logo on each disc. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-8, Disc 2 contains episodes 9-16, Disc 3 contains episodes 17-24, and Disc 4 contains episodes 25 and 26.


Menu Design and Navigation:

Sadly, the menus on this set are the same as the ones seen on the previous release, which were not very easy to navigate. The main menu has Mister Ed introducing himself along with some videos, along with options of Play All and Select Episode. Choosing Select Episode, however, does not list all of the episodes on the disc. Instead, it shows you the first episode on the disc, and you are forced to use the arrows on the bottom of the screen to go to the next episode. On each menu screen, you are given a snapshot from the episode with options of Play Episode, Previous, Menu, and Next. Previous and Next are the two options you have to use to find the episode that you want. It is incredibly obnoxious, and I have no clue why Shout! Factory would do that on this set when they’ve never done it on any other set (at least not to my knowledge). Chapters are placed appropriately throughout each episode.


Video and Audio Quality:

There were some quality issues with the first season release, but many of the major problems seem to be gone with this set. There are still some grain and lighting issues, but they are nothing of major concern. The audio can be a little dull at times, but that is somewhat expected for a series that aired in the 60s. Every episode is presented in mono, of course, and each episode is closed-captioned.

The good news is that every episode on this set is unedited this time, with each running around 25 minutes and 30 seconds. Episode edits were a problem with season one, but are NOT this time. Exact runtimes are as follows.

Disc 1:
My Son, My Son (25:32)
The Horsetronaut (25:32)
Ed’s Ancestors (25:38)
Ed the Redecorator (25:31)
Ed the Jumper (25:32)
Ed the Voter (25:32)
Ed the Hunter (25:32)
Mister Ed’s Blues (25:31)

Disc 2:
Ed the Hero (25:30)
Ed the Salesman (25:31)
Ed and the Elephant (25:30)
The Wrestler (25:30)
Ed’s Bed (25:31)
Ed the Beneficiary (25:32)
Zsa Zsa (25:33)
Horse Wash (25:33)

Disc 3:
Ed the Horse Doctor (25:31)
George Burns Meets Mister Ed (25:31)
Ed’s Word of Honor (25:36)
No Horses Allowed (25:33)
Bald Horse (25:31)
Ed’s New Neighbors (25:33)
Ed the Beachcomber (25:32)
Lie Detector (25:31)

Disc 4:
Clint Eastwood Meets Mister Ed (25:32)
Ed the Matchmaker (25:33)


Special Features:

First, we have a radio interview from “Stu’s Show,” an internet radio program, featuring Alan Young and Connie Hines (approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes). What is unusual about this feature, however, is that the DVD producers decided to place it as an alternate audio track over several of the episodes. It is a little unusual, although I suppose that the producers just didn’t want to have a black screen for the interview, and at least this way, there is some video to accompany the audio. This is a very in-depth interview that includes phone calls and e-mails from listeners, and covers much more than just Mister Ed.

The only other special feature is a series of Studebaker commercials (5:37) featuring the cast of the series. The quality on these commercials is TERRIBLE, but they are very nice to see, with all of the features being described, such as bucket seats and a gear box on the floor. Of course, as we all know, the Studebaker wasn’t made for very long after the series began, so that makes them even more interesting to watch.

As many fans may know, Connie Hines recently passed away, but it was almost definitely after the production of this DVD set was complete. It would be nice to see some kind of tribute to her on the next release. It is nice that she was able to participate in the first two season releases of this series on DVD, though, mere months before her untimely passing.


Final Comments:

Shortly after The Complete First Season was released, I recall reading an article online where Mister Ed was referred to as a whiny little brat, and the more I watch this series, it is very clear that he indeed was just that. But that is what makes this series so great. Ed is a horse who controls his owner and gets everything that he demands. This series really is one of the most bizarre ideas for a series ever, and truly is unique. And in watching it on DVD, it really is much funnier than I remember. This set is a marked improvement over the previous release, particularly in regards to it including all unedited episodes this time. That is the most important thing for any DVD set. The radio interview is surprisingly fun to listen to as well. So, should you pick up this DVD set? Why, of course!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 1.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 01/20/10

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002WIDRL2/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=260587


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